Captain Virat Kohli scored a hundred and Ajinkya Rahane a valuable 79 as India beat South Africa by six wickets in the first One Day International and registered their first victory at Durban on Thursday. Electing to bat first, the Proteas notched up 269 for 8 in their allotted 50 overs before Kohli and Rahane combined to take the game away and win with 4.3 overs to spare.
It ended South Africa's 17-match winning run at home.
Kohli and Rahane were involved in a record 189–run third-wicket partnership. The former scored 112 of 119 balls while Rahane 79 off 86, which included five fours and two sixes.
It was the highest stand for India in South Africa as Kohli notched his 20th hundred in a run-chase, of which 18 have ended up in victories. After scoring freely all across the world, this was also Kohli's first ODI hundred on South African soil.
The most vital aspect of the Kohli-Rahane partnership was the running between wickets. The duo looked to cut down on errors, calling loud and clear. They brought up their 100-stand off 112 balls.Andile Phehlukwayo bagged two of the four Indian wickets to fall and finished with figures of 2 for 42 from eight overs. Both Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada bowled quickly but without penetration while Chris Morris was smashed for 52 in his seven overs Imran Tahir (0-51) was duly taken for runs, while J P Duminy (0-16) and Markram (0/20) had no impact in their short spells.
Earlier, captain Faf du Plessis led from the front with an impressive 120. He single-handedly took South Africa to 269 for 8 Du Plessis scored his eighth ODI hundred after a half-empty Kingsmead Stadium bore witness to South Africa's top-order collapse. The hosts lost four wickets for 51 runs before du Plessis and Chris Morris (37) rescued them with a 74-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
The Proteas skipper faced 112 balls, off which he hit 11 fours and two sixes. A sell-out crowd was expected for this first match of the six-ODI series but the fans -- mostly Indian supporters -- only arrived in spurts on account of a working Thursday, building up gradually over the afternoon. This is the only game of the Indian tour in Durban. The next game in the six-match series takes place at Centurion on Sunday.